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Eugène Atget: Picturing Paris

September 10 2013 - January 5 2014
Eugène Atget: Picturing Paris

Lose yourself in the beauty of Old Paris with this selection of more than 20 rare prints from the founder of documentary photography.

In the first three decades of the 20th century, French photographer Eugène Atget (1857-1927) tirelessly photographed the city of Paris and its environs. His large-format view camera, glass plates and printing technique may link him to earlier 19th-century photography; however, Atget’s vision was an astonishingly modern one.

In a time of rapid transformation, Atget captured the buildings, gardens, courtyards, old shops and streets that had not been touched by Baron Haussmann’s 19th-century modernization program. The resulting group of photographs reveals a genuine glimpse into the past of this iconic metropolis.

Although Eugène Atget was not well known during his lifetime, his visual record of a vanishing world has become an inspiration for 20th century photographers, including Brassaï, the Surrealists, Walker Evans, Man Ray, and Springfield, Ohio’s own Berenice Abbott, who preserved his prints and negatives, and was the first person to publish and exhibit Atget’s work outside of France.

Dayton City Paper: Two Views of Paris

Image: Eugene Atget, French, 1857 – 1927, Rue St. Rustique, French, 1922. From the 1956 Anniversary Portfolio, printed 1956, Set #41/100, Printed by Berenice Abbott, American, 1898 – 1991, Gelatin silver print, Museum purchase, 1964.47.9

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